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Paying Off Debt

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If you’ve been keeping up with my Home Buying Series over the past few Mondays, you’ll already know if you’re ready to buy, how to save a healthy down payment and how to take advantage of the homebuyer’s plan (HBP). Once you have your down payment saved up and you know where exactly the money is coming from you are just about ready for the fun part (bring on the house hunting), but there’s one last step you want to take to ensure everything goes smoothing….getting pre-approved for a mortgage. Why exactly do you need to get pre-approval? Lock-in your interest rate, so you won’t get stuck if rates go up (Usually, the quoted¬†rate is good for at least 120 days and if rates end up going down your lender will meet the new lower rate.) Set your spending cap (Keep in mind that banks will often lend you more…

If you’re a frequent jet-setter you likely already have a credit card that pays you back in travel rewards, that’s fairly common knowledge in this day and age. What you might not know however is that many of those very same travel rewards cards also give you insurance coverage for lots of the not so great things that can happen when you’re on vacation. You know when you’re booking a trip and you have to click through the part about accepting or rejecting medical insurance, trip cancellation insurance, car rental insurance, etc. All those things can cost you a pretty penny each time but skipping them might leave you with in a bad situation. For that reason, it’s worth checking to see what coverage you currently have through your credit card and maybe even switching cards if you travel quite a bit. First, we’re going to look at a few…

Save, spend or pay off debt? Where do you start when you’re finances are a bit of a mess, and you are determined to get back on track? It can be completely overwhelming trying to get started, and I think that’s why so many people delay taking that first step or fall back on bad habits after a setback. What you should know though, is that it really doesn’t need to be complicated. Yes, turning around your financial health will be tough and you’ll have to make some sacrifices, but the actual system is straightforward. There are a lot of parts when it comes to personal finance but don’t get distracted (or overwhelmed) by all the different types of investments or styles of investing. When you’re just getting started you want to focus on the basics…paying off debt and having a solid base of savings. Everything else will fall into…

February means RRSP season, and if you already have an RRSP somewhere it’s very likely that you’ve been receiving some¬†communication promoting RRSP loans and all the wonderful things they can do for you! Let’s talk about this and figure out if taking out an RRSP loan is actually something that will be beneficial to you. First off, it’s still a loan, and you’re going to have to pay off the principal and interest. Sure, you’ll get a beefed up amount on your tax return, but there’s really only a few circumstances where it’s actually worthwhile. As we’ve discussed before, RRSP’s are the most beneficial when you make contributions in your highest possible tax bracket and then withdraw the funds in when you’re in the lowest possible tax bracket. That means that if you’re just starting out in your career and will potentially be earning way bigger bucks down the road,…

There’s no denying the fact that debt sucks. It can get us into big trouble when it comes to our finances but it also leads to stress and frustration. If you are here because you’re looking for a fix then you’ve already taken the first step and know how important it is to pay off debt. And I’m here to help! We’re going to figure out the best plan of attack so you can start getting ahead. You’re Not Alone The first thing I want to emphasize is that you are far from the only person dealing with debt. I’ve been there and so have many other Canadians. The average consumer debt in Canada in 2017 was $29,312. And that’s only consumer debt which doesn’t include mortgages. Millenials and Gen Z are burdened with the highest borrowing levels; which makes sense when you think of the increase of student loans…

If you have (or have ever had) a mortgage, you’ll know that the bank will often push mortgage insurance on you when you’re signing on the dotted line. Now to be clear, this is the additional insurance your bank will offer you when you get a mortgage and not the CMHC insurance that is required when your down payment is less than 20%. Sometimes the bank will even go so far as to assume you’ll get the coverage and you’ll actually have to opt-out. They’ll throw out some small premium amount that will just get tacked into your mortgage payment, and you’ll think sure, sounds great…but does it. Ok, I already spoiled this with the post title…but no, it shouldn’t sound so great. Now don’t get me wrong, insurance is necessary, especially when it comes to covering your debt but there is a better way of doing it. Let’s first…

A couple of weeks ago I talked about whether or not using cash or credit cards was a better option. As you know from that post, I’m not against using credit, as long as you pay off your balances in full each month. A big perk of plastic is that many cards have added features that get you cash back or travel rewards to save you money. Today we’re going to look at a few of the available credit cards that have some of the best bonuses. You’ll first want to decide which category will work best for you. If you’re still catching up on debt and carry a balance, you’ll want to go with a low-rate card, but if you’re pretty good at paying them off every month, you’ll want to start reaping those rewards. If you travel a lot, you should look at a card that pays out…